My husband and I signed up/applied for a gas station card (saves 5¢ a gallon) which has added and raised our credit.
It takes time and patience. Good luck!
I also talk to USAA credit counselors. It's a free service.
WEBSITE GURUTrusted Contributor
Your "Credit Score" is Credit Reporting Bureau Dependent (i.e. different depending upon which Credit Reporting Bureau is used), result of "mysterious algorithms" known only to the Credit Reporting Bureaus, and varies from person to person.
That said, here is some "general information" concerning how your FICO® Score is calculated:
1. Payment History - On Time Payments (35%)
The first thing any lender wants to know is whether you've paid past credit accounts on time. This is one of the most important factors in a FICO® Score.
2. Amounts Owed - Capacity Used (30%)
Having credit accounts and owing money on them does not necessarily mean you are a high-risk borrower with a low FICO® Score.
3. Length of Credit History (15%)
In general, a longer credit history will increase your FICO® Score. However, even people who haven't been using credit long may have a high FICO Score, depending on how the rest of the credit report looks.
Your FICO Score takes into account:
- how long your credit accounts have been established, including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account and an average age of all your accounts
- how long specific credit accounts have been established
- how long it has been since you used certain accounts
4. Types of Credit in Use (10%)
The score will consider your mix of credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans.
5. New credit - Past Credit Applications (10%)
Research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents a greater risk - especially for people who don't have a long credit history.
IMPORTANT: Your FICO® Score only looks at information in your credit report
Your credit score is calculated from your credit report. However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.
ONE LAST THING: Keep your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio Low.
Your debt-to-income ratio can be a valuable number -- some say as important as your credit score. It's exactly what it sounds: the amount of debt you have as compared to your overall income.
Lenders look at this ratio when they are trying to decide whether to lend you money or extend credit. A low DTI shows you have a good balance between debt and income. As you might guess, lenders like this number to be low -- generally you'll want to keep it below 36, but the lower it is, the greater the chance you will be able to get the loans or credit you seek.
I hope this helps someone.